Iris Murdoch

Submitted by admin on Wed, 09/21/2016 - 12:55

photo of Iris MurdochQuotes

  • I think being a woman is like being Irish. Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the same.
  • We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.
  • All art is a struggle to be, in a particular sort of way, virtuous. Art is the final cunning of the human soul which would rather do anything than face the gods.
  • The absolute yearning of one human body for another particular body and its indifference to substitutes is one of life's major mysteries.
  • Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.
  • Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real.
  • Philosophy! Empty thinking by ignorant conceited men who think they can digest without eating!
  • We shall be better prepared for the future if we see how terrible, how doomed the present is.


Iris Murdoch was born on 15th July 1919, died 8th February 1999. She was born in Dublin but the family moved to England soon after. She was an English novelist and philosopher, best known for her novels about good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious. Her first published novel, Under the Net, was selected in 1998 as one of Modern Library's 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. She was perhaps one of the first “liberated” women, and was originally a Communist, though later both socialism and irishness led to very mixed feelings for her.

She was married, but also had a 60-year relationship with her best friend Philippa Foot.